Header Image - Paul Koretz
November 20, 2021   

Dear Friends,

I can hardly believe that it is nearly Thanksgiving and that the holidays are coming fast! 

This Thanksgiving let's give thanks for the modern miracle of science that found a vaccine that kept so many alive and contributed to preventing further outbreaks.  Let's give thanks to the front-line workers who are out there every day risking their own lives and the lives of their loved ones to aid in the safety and recovery of strangers.  Let's give thanks to the teachers who reinvented the school curriculum to keep our students on task. And let us also give thanks to all of the volunteers who donated items, lent a hand, lent an ear, or called a neighbor just to check on them. 

Happy Thanksgiving

I know this Thanksgiving I’ll give thanks to my family,  my staff, and my constituents who partnered with us through a series of emergencies none of us have seen in our lifetime.  While people don't always agree, so many put away their differences to give service to each other with love, honor, and respect.

We are not out of the woods yet so please continue to get those vaccinations, boosters, and wear masks indoors so we can continue to gather with gratitude and kindness all year round. 

With gratitude and wishes for a safe and fulfilling Thanksgiving,

Signature of Paul Koretz
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District

In the News


Community Updates Banner

Councilmembers Koretz and Krekorian Legislation Limiting Automatic Distribution of Plastic Utensils Now in Force in Larger Restaurants across Los Angeles

SkipTheStuff Plastic Flyer

Due to COVID, many of us have been eating more takeout, both for convenience and to support our beloved, but struggling restaurant community. Since we eat much of that takeout at home, we very often don't actually need the extra plastic utensils, condiments, straws and napkins that are automatically included by the restaurants with each order. What Councilmember Koretz calls "zero use items" end up either in a junk drawer or go directly into the trash and from there into a landfill because they are not recyclable. It's an environmental waste, a cost to the City to landfill at the scale of four million people, and a serious waste of money for restaurants. Studies of the problem have shown that approximately 40 billion disposable plastic utensils, along with millions (maybe billions) of other foodware accessories, are disposed of every year in the United States, often without being used.

Beginning November 15, 2021, restaurants that employ 26 or more people are now required to comply with a new Los Angeles City ordinance sponsored by Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Paul Krekorian aiming to solve the problem through a simple habit change by requiring food establishments to provide plastic utensils and other accessories only upon request.Delivery services like Grubhub and DoorDash are required to include a check box that customers have to actively click to order these accessories if they need them. If customers want them, they will still be available.

In the words of Mike Colonna, the President/CEO of perennial LA favorite Norm's Restaurants, "You save the environment a little bit of heartache, and also save cost and waste for the restaurant business. It's really a win-win. We just have to make sure we are able to communicate properly to our guests so we don't inconvenience them."

To learn more about the new disposable foodware ordinance, please click here to read the ordinance.

City Officials Pose with bin full of single-use utensils

garbage truck


LA This Week news VIDEO about the new ordinance is available here

Los Angeles City Council Concern Grows Over Drought Emergency as Part of Climate Day in City Council 

As part of “Climate Day” in the City Council, issues about extreme heat, solar power, and drought were the topic du jour. Councilmember Koretz’s request for reports on extreme heat and protecting vulnerable people was complimented by the introduction of a motion from Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2), seconded by Councilmember Koretz, for the City to employ an extreme heat officer.  Councilmember O’Farrell (CD13) also addressed the need to further reduce pull on the power grid by implementing robust renewable energy generation and battery storage.  And last, but not least, drought legislation by Councilmember Paul Koretz (CD5) received a spotlight as the General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District and the Head of the LADWP Water System both testified to the worsening “drought emergency” from the high Sierras to the Rockies and gave recommendations for conservation and available financial incentive to reduce water use.

Please watch this Climate Day Video to learn more from all three Councilmembers.

These actions come on the heels of the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow.  “The international community is once again copping out at COP26,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz, about inaction at the Glasgow COP26 Climate Summit.  “While they go, in the words of Greta Thunberg, ‘blah, blah, blah,’ we must address our local drought and extreme heat emergencies. As we work to conserve water to protect against the drought, we must continue to water our trees to protect against the heat.” 

Additionally, since 2009, LADWP has remained at Phase 2 of the City's Water Conservation Ordinance, limiting outdoor watering with sprinklers to three days a week. People with odd-numbered street addresses may water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; those with even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Additional ongoing, water conservation efforts include:

  • Sprinklers with non-conserving nozzles can only run for up to 8 minutes per station; conserving nozzles can run for 15 minutes per station. 
  • No watering during rain or within 48 hours following rain.
  • No watering with sprinklers between 9 am and 4 pm regardless of the water day.
  • No water runoff onto streets, driveways, and gutters.
  • No washing of any hard surfaces such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways, or parking areas using water, except for health and safety needs.
  • Hand watering with a self-closing shut-off nozzle on the hose is permitted any day of the week before 9:00 am or after 4:00 pm.
  • All leaks must be repaired promptly.
  • Washing vehicles is permitted using a hose with a self-closing water shut-off nozzle.

To help customers save water and reduce their water bills, LADWP continues to offer a wide array of rebates and incentive programs that encourage the efficient use of water for residents and businesses. Through the various LADWP rebate and incentive programs, customers can continue saving water while lowering their utility bills. Incentives include a $400 high-efficiency clothes washer rebate, a $3-per-square-foot turf replacement rebate for residential and commercial customers, and a technical assistance program incentive of up to $2 million for commercial customers to perform customized water-saving improvements at their facilities.

Please visit www.ladwp.com/save for more information.

City Council Passes Koretz Motion to Audit Gun Violence Prevention Programs

The Los Angeles City Council voted to pass a motion introduced by Councilmember Koretz asking the City Controller to undertake an audit of all previous and ongoing gun violence prevention programs and policies implemented in the City of Los Angeles to determine the efficacy of those programs.  The Controller is also asked to make recommendations related to the allocation of funding and resources to ensure the City’s gun violence prevention efforts are as effective and extensive as possible.

Like most cities in the United States, Los Angeles has experienced a disturbingly sharp increase in homicides year after year with roughly two-thirds involving the use of a firearm.  Although there is no simple explanation for those gun-related deaths, the pandemic has certainly played a role in compounding massive job loss, business closures, and related loss of housing.  The climate of uncertainty, social tension, and crime combined with a sharp increase in firearm purchases in the last 18 months seems to have created a perfect storm for the daily gun violence on our streets.

“Of course, every single life lost to gun violence is far too many. However, with the recent sharp increase of gun-related homicides in our City, we now have a very serious gun problem even though we have passed a number of gun control measures over the years,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz.  “The time has come to look at the programs and their impacts if we are going to successfully keep the most dangerous guns out of society and off of our streets, and keep guns out of the hands of the most dangerous people.”

 In response to a significant surge of homicides in the 1990s, that was much higher at that time than the current number in 2020, the City of Los Angeles launched a variety of social, youth, and community sustainability programs intended to curb gun violence including the LAPD’s Jeopardy Program, gang intervention workers, the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, and gun buy-back programs.

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A Visit from the Assyrian Community’s new Catholicos-Patriarch

Assyrian Community’s new Catholicos-Patriarch

The Assyrian American community is woven into the intricate fabric of the City of Los Angeles, and Councilmember Koretz was honored to join Ecumenical Leadership from throughout the region, as he brought greetings from the City of Los Angeles to the Assyrian Community’s new Catholicos-Patriarch. He congratulated the faithful of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East on the Consecration of the new Catholicos-Patriarch, His Holiness Mar Awa III to the Holy See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon as the 122nd Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.

The amazing contributions of the Assyrian people through culture, arts, and language have made the City a better place in which to live. Dignitaries included Consul General of Iraq, Archbishops, and Bishops of Dioceses from throughout Southern California, as well as Command of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Congratulations to New Board Members and Newly Licenced Certified Public Accountants of the LA Chapter of CalCPA's

LA SoCalCPA conference

Councilmember Koretz was thrilled to address the CalCPA Los Angeles Chapter, as they gathered with more than 200 members to recognize newly licensed CPAs and continue their philanthropy in supporting those who wish to become future CPAs through their scholarship programs. Councilmember Koretz was proud to present a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the City of Los Angeles to state-wide Cal CPA President Denise LeDuc Froemming, Cal CPA LA Chapter President Gina De Rosa, and Cal CPA LA Chapter Board member Raffi Kurkjian. 

Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers Celebrates 75 Years - The Long-Running Merchant in Westwood Village 

Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers Turn 75

In 1946, Leonard and his wife Sarah, fondly referred to as Lenny & Sunny, opened a small jewelry store in Westwood Village. For many decades the business has grown and prospered, and today, Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers holds the record as the longest-running merchant in Westwood Village. For 75 years Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers’ has provided exceptional service, genuine concern, sound advice, and quality jewelry which is central to their core values. Thank you to the Westwood BID, Steve Sann, and the Department of Transportation for their partnership in celebrating this monumental anniversary, and heartfelt congratulations to Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers on your 75th Anniversary!

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Jewish Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Los Angeles (JBBBSLA) is Accepting Applications for Flagship Mentoring Program

Are you a parent looking for a program for your Jewish child? 

Could your child benefit from a mentor?If you are a parent looking for additional resources for your child between ages 6-17, consider signing them up for a Big. A Big is an adult age 21+ who can be an additional friend and advocate for your child and can play a role in their development and success. Learn more by clicking here. Staff at JBBBSLA conduct extensive background checks and interviews to ensure the quality of our mentors and provide the best match possible. JBBBSLA also offers additional opportunities to Littles such as access to sleepaway camp experiences, free college guidance counseling, and college scholarships.

Mentoring Information Session December 8th at 6 pm

Ready to Inspire

If you are looking to give back in a meaningful way, consider becoming a Big Brother for youth in your community. Bigs at JBBBSLA have the potential to make a life-changing impact on Jewish youth by building a child’s confidence, increasing their school engagement, and helping them develop stronger social skills.

Learn more about this life-changing volunteer experience by clicking here

Hear directly from current Bigs about why signing up to mentor a child is the most rewarding volunteer experience available. Sign up for the December 8 information session over Zoom at 6 pm by clicking here.

Here to Serve

My staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Bel Air/ Encino) and through email paul.koretz@lacity.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.



This message was sent to  by:

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005